Hi there, it’s Yvette with review on “Designing Brand Identity”.
Brand identity is something I have been interested in for a long time. We all know that people fall in love with brands, trust them, and believe in their superiority. Therefore, the process of building a brand that is viewed as irreplaceable and successful has always been of interest to me.
So when I came across Alina Wheeler’s book called Designing Brand Identity, which is a quick reference guide on brand identity, I decided to grab a copy at once. Below you will find a short summary of the insights I’ve gained from the book.
What is a Brand and Brand Identity?
Nowadays, when competitors create infinite choices, companies look for ways to connect emotionally with customers, and create lifelong relationships. A strong brand stands out in a densely crowded marketplace. How a brand is perceived affects its success, regardless of whether it’s a start-up, a nonprofit, or a product.
The questions every brand creator needs to ask themselves are first and foremost are:
- Who are you?
- Who needs to know?
- How will they find out?
- Why should they care?
- What is brand identity?
Brand identity is tangible and appeals to the senses. You can see it, touch it, hold it, hear it, watch it move. Brand identity fuels recognition, amplifies differentiation, and makes big ideas and meaning accessible. It takes disparate elements and unifies them into whole systems
What is branding?
Branding is a disciplined process used to build awareness and extend customer loyalty. It requires a mandate from the top and readiness to invest in the future. Branding is about seizing every opportunity to express why people should choose one brand over another. A desire to lead, outpace the competition, and give employees the best tools to reach customers are the reasons why companies leverage branding.
Designing an identity is a dance between the intuitive and intentional. The greatest challenge of the brand identity process is to realize that you cannot control anything other than your focus and attention. Trusting the process and keeping the ball in the air will always deliver extraordinary outcomes. Although research is the business discipline for gathering and interpreting data, insight comes from a more personal and intuitive place. Observing the world and listening nonjudgmentally to the ideas of others opens up possibilities.
According to Alina, the branding process includes the following phases:
Phase 1: Conducting research
Brand identity requires business acumen and design thinking. The first priority is to understand the organization: its mission, vision, target markets, corporate culture, competitive advantage, strengths and weaknesses, marketing strategies, and challenges for the future.
Phase 2: Clarifying strategy
This phase involves both methodical examination and strategic imagination. It is about analysis, discovery, synthesis, simplicity, and clarity. This combination of rational thinking and creative intelligence characterizes the best strategies, which go where others have not.
Phase 3: Designing identity
Investigation and analysis are complete; the brand brief has been agreed upon, and so we can finally begin the creative design process. Design is an iterative process that seeks to integrate meaning with form. The best designers work at the intersection of strategic imagination, intuition, design excellence, and experience.
Phase 4: Creating touchpoints
This phase is about design refinement and design development. The brand identity design concept has been approved, and a sense of urgency generates a fusillade of questions: “When we will get business cards?”, followed by “How soon can we get our standards online?”
Phase 5: Managing assets
Managing brand identity assets requires enlightened leadership and a long-term commitment to doing everything possible to build the brand. The mandate to build the brand must come from the top.
All in all, for me Designing Brand Identity turned out to be both an inspiration and a powerful toolkit which will definitely empower me throughout the brand building process.